Minor League Weekly: Bautista on the Front Burner in Binghamton

(Ed Delany/MetsMerized)

Week In Review

The Las Vegas 51s (3-8, fourth in the Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern division) won back-to-back games for their second and third victories of the season, but through 11 contests have allowed a league-worst 85 runs.

The Binghamton Rumble Ponies (3-5, t-third in the Eastern League Eastern division) drew big crowds in Portland, but have now dropped five consecutive games since sweeping their opening series.

The St. Lucie Mets (6-4, fourth in the Florida State League South division) began the season 1-4, and have since rattled off five wins in a row, the first two coming via a walk-off.

The Columbia Fireflies (6-4, t-second in the South Atlantic League Southern division) won on Saturday thanks to a go-ahead RBI triple from Edgardo Fermin in the top of the ninth, already his fourth three-bagger of the season.

Mets Minors News & Buzz

Dominic Smith‘s rehab assignment with the 51s officially ended on Sunday when he was activated from the major league disabled list and subsequently optioned to Las Vegas. Through his first eight games of the season, Smith is hitting .267/.353/.600 with a pair of home runs.

Mets minor leaguers at the Extended Spring Training camp in Port St. Lucie recorded a special message for their teammate Luis Vasquez, a pitcher in the Dominican Summer League who is battling a recent cancer diagnosis.

In a minor depth swap, the Mets acquired outfielder Kendall Coleman on Tuesday from the New York Yankees in exchange for infielder L.J. Mazzilli. Coleman reported to Extended Spring Training and will likely fill in if needed in Columbia or St. Lucie.

The Mets reportedly signed catcher Johnny Monell to a minor league contract on Friday, although it has not officially been filed as of Sunday. Monell played in 27 games for the Mets in 2015 and remained in the organization with Las Vegas in 2016.

After undergoing Tommy John surgery last season, left-handed pitcher Joel Huertas is expected to begin throwing for the first time this week. Huertas made four appearances with St. Lucie and Columbia in 2017 and had the operation in May.

Who’s Hot, Who’s Not

Who’s hot: It’s easy to get buried in a bullpen full of big names, but Gerson Bautista has managed to significantly stand out from the pack. The 22-year-old joined the Binghamton pen and has made an immediate impact, striking out a ridiculous 11 of the 18 batters he’s faced in three outings.

Bautista, whose pitfall prior to being acquired by the Mets last July was his inability to consistently find the strike zone, has now recorded 31 strikeouts to a mere three walks since the Red Sox dealt him for Addison Reed. Still pumping his high-90s heat, there’s no questioning the decision to add him to the 40-man roster this past November.

Obviously, a 61% strikeout rate is beyond unsustainable, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that he could find himself in Las Vegas with a solid couple of months in the Eastern League. Bautista isn’t going to toil away in the minor leagues forever, so it’s absolutely worth it to see what you’ve got in a reliever on your major league reserve list.

Speaking of unsustainable, Ty Kelly has not been human recently for the 51s. In his return to the Mets organization, the 29-year-old journeyman went on a stretch from last Sunday through Saturday that saw him hit safely in 14 of 28 at-bats and record two doubles, three triples, and four home runs, while knocking in 11 runs. The slash line ended up at a ridiculous .500/.517/1.214.

Of course, those numbers will eventually come down to his career .211 major league average or at least his .279 Triple-A clip, but isn’t it fun to get excited about extremely small sample sizes? And if Jose Reyes never picks up his first hit of the season, Kelly and his uber-versatility (he’s played every non-battery position) will be waiting in the wings.

Who’s not: After opening in Extended Spring Training, A.J. Griffin could not have had a worse season debut for Las Vegas. The major league veteran took the ball in Albuquerque on Wednesday and lasted only 2.1 innings, during which he allowed nine hits, nine earned runs, a pair of home runs, and three walks to one strikeout. It was a downright poor performance for the Mets’ only depth piece with significant MLB experience.

Organizational Leaders

AVG — Scott Manea (COL) .438, Blake Tiberi (COL) .400, Ty Kelly (LVG) .395, Peter Alonso (BNG) .370, Gene Cone (STL) .360

OPS — Kelly 1.360, Alonso 1.284, Manea 1.175, Ian Strom (STL) 1.139, Zach Borenstein (LVG) 1.027

HR — Kelly 4, Alonso 3, Borenstein 3, Four tied with 2

RBI — Kelly 11, Borenstein 10, Jeremy Vasquez (COL) 8, Edgardo Fermin (COL) 7, Dash Winningham (STL) 7

SB — Strom 4, Cone 3, Anthony Dimino (STL) 3, Andres Gimenez (STL) 3, Six tied with 2

STARTER ERA — Justin Dunn (STL) 0.00, Harol Gonzalez (STL) 0.90, Drew Gagnon (LVG/BNG) 1.64, Nabil Crismatt (BNG) 1.64, Gary Cornish (STL) 1.80

RELIEVER ERA — Tyler Bashlor (BNG) 0.000, Gerson Bautista (BNG) 0.00, Nicolas Debora (COL) 0.00, Ryder Ryan (STL) 0.00, Adonis Uceta (BNG) 0.00

SO — Dunn 14, Tony Dibrell (COL) 13, Joe Cavallaro (COL) 12, Crismatt 12, Three tied with 11

SV — Trey Cobb (COL) 2, Six tied with 1

WHIP — Bashlor 0.00, Bautista 0.40, Carlos Hernandez (STL/COL) 0.50, Gagnon 0.73, Joseph Zanghi (STL) 0.75

Transaction Report


Kendall Coleman acquired from the New York Yankees; assigned to Extended Spring Training….L.J. Mazzilli traded from Las Vegas to the New York Yankees….Brandon Nimmo optioned to Las Vegas….Corey Oswalt recalled from Las Vegas….Drew Gagnon transferred to Las Vegas from Binghamton….Johnny Magliozzi transferred to St. Lucie from Extended Spring Training….Carlos Hernandez transferred to Columbia from St. Lucie….Conner O’Neil placed on Columbia’s disabled list.


Corey Oswalt optioned to Las Vegas….Zack Wheeler recalled from Las Vegas….Tomas Nido recalled from Binghamton….A.J. Griffin transferred to Las Vegas from Extended Spring Training….Alex Palsha and Johnny Magliozzi transferred to Extended Spring Training from St. Lucie….Matt Pobereyko and Joseph Zanghi transferred to St. Lucie from Extended Spring Training.


Corey Oswalt activated by Las Vegas….David Roseboom transferred to Binghamton from Las Vegas.


Jose Lobaton selected from Las Vegas….Brandon Nimmo recalled from Las Vegas….Jacob Rhame optioned to Las Vegas….Jeff McNeil, Nick Sergakis, and Joshua Torres activated from Binghamton’s disabled list….J.J. Franco transferred to Extended Spring Training from Binghamton….Corey Taylor transferred to Las Vegas from Binghamton….A.J. Griffin placed on Las Vegas’ temporarily inactive list….Matt Oberste activated from Las Vegas’ disabled list.


Drew Smith transferred to Las Vegas from Binghamton….Kelly Secrest placed on Las Vegas’ disabled list….Jose Garcia placed on St. Lucie’s disabled list….Carlos Sanchez transferred to St. Lucie from Extended Spring Training.


Dominic Smith optioned to Las Vegas….Matt Oberste transferred to Binghamton from Las Vegas.

Upcoming Schedules

Las Vegas: @ El Paso (4/16), Fresno (17-20), El Paso (21-23)

Binghamton: @ New Hampshire (4/16-19), Erie (20-22)

St. Lucie: OFF (4/16), @ Florida (17-19), @ Jupiter (20-22)

Columbia: @ Greenville (4/16-18), Hickory (19-22)

As a reminder, all 51s, Rumble Ponies, and select Fireflies games can be seen on MiLB.tv.

About Jacob Resnick 99 Articles
Jacob Resnick, a student at Quinnipiac University from New York City, covers the Mets minor leagues for Mets Merized and MetsMinors.net. Follow him on Twitter at @Jacob_Resnick.